Alice Palace has been going now for nearly 11 years and the most common question I get asked is where do I find my inspiration – so I have been thinking of the answer, and have 11 yeeha’s to help…
1. Going horse riding is the best thing to help me with my creativity because it gets me outside – the fresh air always helps and my mind is free to wander. It’s about occupying one part of my brain, so the the other part is clear to be creative. It makes me feel happy and the more happy I am, the more creative ideas I have.
– So spend time doing the things you love most in life.
2. The same thing happens when I’m in the car driving by myself and listening/singing along to music. I find it’s a good time to tune out and spend some time inside my own head with my own thoughts. The same thing happens when I wash up – which is why we don’t have a dishwasher!
– So spend some time alone to daydream – your brain needs time for inactivity.
3. If I start work on any illustration idea, then more ideas will follow, and from those ideas there will be even more ideas – it’s just the way it works – but I need to get started in the first place. My main problem is not the lack of ideas, but making myself physically get started with them. Creativity is like a tap and needs to be used to keep it flowing.
– So do whatever you need to do to get started, draw up a timetable, make up some deadlines, pretend the Queen is over for a visit… and then start drawing.
4. I find I have to do every pointless job there is, before I can start my illustration work – but having a good tidy up of my work area does really help – and then I just have to be super strict. But if I’m having one of those days when the drawings just aren’t right, then I’ll do something completely different for a while as I know that on another day I will do the whole thing much quicker and better.
– So stop if your hearts not in it (and return to it later/the next day).
5. Spending time with inspiring and inquisitive people is great for my own inspiration – anyone that I look up to for whatever reason – can really help with my own ideas.
– So spend time with friends and family (and strangers) that make you tick.
6. I find that walking to work with the dogs is a great start to the day and I love taking photos along the way. I like to look at the world in detail – seeing everything that looks beautiful to me, seeing colours and shapes, changes in the day, that might otherwise be missed.
– So start the day well and you’re more likely to create.
7. Watching films and reading books also helps to feed my inspiration. I get a monthly magazine subscription to ‘Red’ which is not only a nice surprise every month, but also helps to keep me up to date with fashion, homes and trends. I like ‘The simple things’ magazine too.
– So ask all your inspiring people about their favourites, and make a list, and get watching/reading.
8. Exhibiting at shows really helps me to stay inspired as I see them as an opportunity to show off my illustrations & products, and to get feedback – without these dates in the diary it would be easy to float along without any set deadlines. It’s also a time when I see impressive work by other people, and that inspires me to come up with something equally impressive next time.
– So get yourself out there.
9. Keeping a notebook really helps me – as I seek inspiration from all sorts of sources and I can write down ideas/words and keep them all safe. I’m always on the lookout for the little everyday things, observing people, watching films, dreams I have, reading books, conversations I have, a sentence I read/hear. If I’m really stuck for ideas, then I can look through and see drawings, doodles, scribbles about the weather, the mood I am in, the last time I laughed etc.
– So keep a sketchbook/notebook.
10. It’s good for me to have a routine and I try to have set working hours. I have to be disciplined because there are so many distractions these days with email, mobile, twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest etc – not to mention the everyday life stuff like cooking, cleaning, looking after the dogs and my small child. The other day one of my friends asked me how I make myself go to work everyday and I found it a hard question to answer on the spot, but after thinking about it, I realised that I must just be pretty disciplined, and enjoy my work! It doesn’t seem like an option to me to not go.
– It’s so easy to let your life get filled up with other stuff, so a routine is really important.
11. If I’m not enjoying an illustration I’m working on, then generally it doesn’t work as well and I need to find a different approach, or just start something new. The BIGGEST thing of all is to enjoy the creation and trust your instinct. I find that the illustrations that work best are the ones that I enjoy doing most.
– To be truly inspired you need to trust your instinct and enjoy what you are creating, and it will show.
The Month of Love is a weekly art challenge started by illustrator Kristina Carroll. Every week in February, there’s a new challenge related to the subject of “Love”. Participating artists respond by creating a new piece and posting throughout the week. There’s an impressive roster of core artists, but the challenges are also open to anyone who wants to submit a piece by posting to Tumblr with the hashtag #monthoflove. The month is coming to an end and there’s some fabulous work up on the site, including the three images below, by Kristina Carroll, Lee Moyer, and Michael Marsicano.
Be sure to check it out and follow along at monthofloveart.com. Much of the work is available as prints throughSociety6 and you can also see the past two years’ worth of challenges and art here.Also, keep an eye out in October for another monthly challenge called Month of Fear.
Rosie Harbottle is an illustrator based in Devon in the uk, and she has a BIG love of pattern, colour and type. She hand draws or paints everything before scanning and playing around with colour and composition to create beautiful artworks like the badger, bunny and owl below…
Amyisla Mccombie is freelance illustrator (and set designer) who thinks it’s very important to be around fellow creative people to bounce ideas and give inspiration. Her work is charming and colourful, and I love it all…
Souther Salazar’s collages, paintings, drawings and sculptures are playful and vibrant dreamscapes of overlapping narratives— half-remembered, half-imagined places “where stories can develop and take on a life of their own.” Utilizing a wide variety of freely mixed media, found objects and layers of assemblage, his work evokes the wonders and imagination that many of us abandoned in childhood.
Souther began making photocopied cut-and-paste mini-comics and ‘zines as a teenager in California. He now lives in Portland, Oregon and has shown his work in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Switzerland, Brazil, and other far-flung places. If you’re in the NY area in May, check out his show at the Jonathan Levine Gallery. If you can’t get to NY, there’s always Etsy– Souther has some pretty awesome prints for sale there.
And you can also spend hours soaking your eyeballs in the awesome work on his website and Facebook.
Russell Leng’s geometric forms are striking. Using a variety of media for his paintings including ink, acrylic, and spray paint, Russell recreates the relationships he finds between natural and man-made landscapes.
Russell currently lives in the United Kingdom and is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Contemporary Art Practice at Edinburgh College of Art. He initially earned his Bachelor of Arts in Art from Trinity Western University. His work has been featured in numerous galleries and publications in the United Kingdom, British Columbia, Ontario, California, and Illinois, and Russell was awarded the first place Surrey Art Gallery Painting Prize in 2009.
View Russell’s full portfolio and follow his developing career on his website at russellleng.com
The birds that Abigail makes are an absolute delight…
Abigail spent large amounts of time as a child in the company of her grandma, an incredibly talented, hardworking seamstress, in a house strewn with loose threads and scraps of fabric. There is nothing more natural to her than to work with fabric, using it to give life to the little creatures that form in her mind.
Abigail produces her birds entirely by hand, in her studio in London, England. They are crafted from both new and reused materials. Each piece is utterly unique, no two will ever be the same. Have a look at her website
Rich Gemmell combines pencil and ink washes with digital elements to create a deep, rich texture for each of his illustrations. Rich keeps sketchbooks during travels through other countries, such as Scotland, France, and the United States, and his illustrations are developed from these entries with tracing paper. After pencil lines are thickened and ink washes are added, Rich scans his work into the computer to add some final touches.
My absolute favorite of his works is Falls, which he designed from one of his sketches observing kayakers descending some falls at the foot of the Ben Nevis mountain in the British Isles. This particular piece (below) is available on The Working Proof, where 15% of the sales from his illustration goes to profit Transportation Alternatives.
Located in Cambridge, UK, Rich has worked as a freelance illustrator for a variety of sources including The Guardian, Future Snowboarders Magazine, and Sunday Times Magazine. View more of his absorbing artwork on his website, richgemmell.net.
Tang Yau Hoong’s cities rise out of thin air in his colorful illustrations. His whimsical use of light, texture, and simple design encourages his viewers to look for more in each work. “I love to play with negative space and illusion in my artwork. My illustrations are mostly conceptual, surreal and minimalist.”
Tang Yau Hoong is a self-taught illustrator currently located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His clever illustrations have been featured on apparel by Urban Outfitters, Threadless, and Gap, and displayed alongside magazine articles for Say Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, and Wired Magazine.